Canal & River Trust
The delightfully named River Ouse (pronounced ‘ooze’) flows (or oozes) through the North Yorkshire countryside, its many tributaries draining the surrounding uplands, dales and moors. Flanked by water meadows, this river is a rich wildlife corridor and a historic one, too. It has been used as a commercial navigation since the time of the Romans, long before the Vikings founded the city of Jórvik, or York as we know it now.
You can take in a beautiful stretch of this river on a circular walk starting at the National Trust’s Beningbrough Hall, a Georgian mansion surrounded by parkland. Before you set off, it’s worth perusing the estate’s collection of 18th-century portraits, wilderness play area and kitchen garden filled with apple and pear trees.
The walk takes you into Newton-on-Ouse, where you can see a war memorial featuring a Halifax Bomber in memory of an aircraft that crashed in the village after returning from a bombing raid in Germany. You’ll also encounter an impressive 150 ft spired church (rebuilt twice in the 19th century – no one is sure why!) and Linton Lock Marina on the tranquil waterside. The marina is a boat lover’s paradise, famed for its historic working lock, campsite and stunning weir.
At the marina, in a handsome brick lock keeper’s cottage, you’ll find the Lockhouse Cafe where you can enjoy traditional homemade fare, from steak and ale pie and fish and chips to generously portioned Sunday lunches. Of course, it’s not all meat feasts – they have good veggie options, too. Rest your tired legs at one of their picnic tables in the garden then watch salmon leaping in the nearby weir.
The Lockhouse Cafe, Linton-on-Ouse, York YO30 2AZ; lintonlockmarina.org.uk